Longing for a home

Day 168 and 169

photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

Oh ancestors.

ancient ones of bone, stone, and wood tools.

Early humans,

the first of all of us,

please sit with me.

I have so many questions for you.

In exchange I have offerings,

sweet milk from soft breasts,

monthly blood,

endless salty tears.

Sticky secretions

from my own simple soul,

and warm body,

in a way

it’s own small earth.

I’d like to know

how, after years of wandering,

from the dry, hot plains,

of other lands,

you knew you were home?

Did this place speak to your heart?

Did you taste the sweet water of the rivers and creeks and decide to stay?

Was it the thick herds of deer, Elk, and Buffalo that called you here?

Or the yellow eyed, hollow howls of the wolves,

Red, Gray, and Timber,

large paws making trails on the land.

Or was it a gift, given in dreams,

maps leading the way,

drawing you ever closer to

thick forests,

and open fields,

places where your children would one day run?

And your careful culture,

filled with taboos, and legends,

and stories, and tales,

sustainable, regenerative, wild,

where was it from?

Did you learn from past mistakes?

Over hunting and extinctions,

stripped soils and clouds that refused to rain?

Is that why you moved on?

Is that how you learned to take only a little

and leave the rest to grow, to bloom, to thrive?

They say you hunted the megafauna to extinction,

huge beasts who roamed during the cold times,

before the ice retreated back to where it came.

Mammoths, ground sloths, tigers, and bears, Mastodon,

strange names of stranger creatures,

sleeping secrets in our collective memories.

Did you kill them until they were gone,

for their hides, for their fat, for their meat?

For protection, out of fear,

and necessity?

Or was it the changing times, the warming air,

the loss of their habitat, landscapes, and food.

Or both?

The answer is important to me.

I like to think there is a way for us to live here without

destroying the lives of many others,

constantly, all the time.

I like to imagine

a time

when things were in balance,

when even people did not take more

than they needed.

I like to think that the ancestors are listening,

watching to see what us young ones will decide to do.

I like to believe we can make the right decisions,

that we’re not in too deep,

to just walk away,

to learn from our mistakes,

and listen to the ways of the ones who’ve walked before.

It is hard being so young,

and foolish,

in a world so old.

I sit at your feet, dear grandparents.


tell me your stories,

and listen to my small voice.

I am a child for you,




help us find the way.

We are lost,

and lonely,

and longing for

a home.

Thank you for listening,



photo by Wilson Alvarez

photo by Wilson Alvarez

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